Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The normalization of casearean sections

Check out this post on a blog called the unnecessarean.
It's a transcript of the Today Show's segment on cesareans that ran yesterday. Basically, a young couple that was having a scheduled cesarean invited The Today Show and all of America to take part in their c-section. To see the whole video, click here.
There was a running commentary explaining the procedure and why this woman needed to have a cesarean (unconvincing reasons, but not for me to judge). What's interesting is that the OB performing the surgery claimed the c-section rate is about 25-30% when at this specific hospital it is at 42 (!!)%.
I find this whole thing very sad, because this is just another example of the normalization of c-sections. It is being presented as an equal if not better option to vaginal birth. Cesareans are amazing, life saving procedures, but not when they are being performed 42% of the time.
There is a lot of misinformation in this segment, not to mention a glossing over of some of the very serious risks of cesareans. For example, did you know that the risk of maternal death is 4 times higher for c-sections than for vaginal births?
These risks are clearly documented yet most doctors do not share this information with their patients. I am not sure what the answer is, but I do know that this is not "normal" birth

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